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Report on the first interPilot session Kortrijk-Trento

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On the 7th November the first session of the collaboration between Trento and Kortrijk related to this Interpilot was held. The Howest Kortrijk school is taking part in an inter-piloting activity organized with the support of Trento Pilot centered in using the ‘ Videovivo’ interactive video technology in Kortrijk. The session involved the NMCT- New Media and Communication Technology students of the Howest University College West Flanders and Interplay Software.

Before the workshop, with the precious help (!!) of Claudia Eeckhout from the Howest Kortrijk and her colleagues, we tested the technological setup to be used for running the workshop/webinar between Trento and Kortrijk. Also, we defined the student “assignment” and we prepared the content to be used by the students involved in the workshop. We tried to simulate in advance the activities and the working environment of the workshop, to check students will have good work conditions.

On the 7th November 2014, Erika De Bortoli from Trento introduced the platform to the students of NMCT (New Media and Communication Technology) through a webinar. Stefano Scotton supported her for the technical setup and for any possible technical question arising from the students.

The aim defined for this session was to test with real users different functionalities of the platform (user testing). Specifically, to test the authoring environment (Videovivo Maker), the component of the platform that allows a non technical user (a “creative” user)  to create interactive videos. It was the first test of the authoring environment with users outside Interplay Software, with the aim to improve its usability so that in the next few months it will be ready for use by users of the Creative Hubs for example.

After the introductory webinar from Erika, the students focused on their assignment. Starting from a storyboard, a video and content we prepared for them in advance, and with the aid of a userguide, students were asked to use Videovivo maker and create their own interactive video. The students were divided into groups; The whole day was dedicated to this task. All the coaching interaction between Erika/Stefano and the students has been led through remote communication tools, such as Anymeeting, Screencast, etc … The students were very quick to acquire the needed knowledge. Everything went ok and the students could perform their assignment without facing substantial problems. Their feedback was collected by Claudia and the report sent to Interplay Software at the end of the day. Their reports are very specific and detailed. Overall, comments and feedback on the tool are on the positive side. Some students ask for more effects and options, such as those that can be found in a desktop-based commercial video software (although this expectation may be outside the purposes of our tool). Other students suggest that the product usability is still for users who received some training before, and further work is still necessary to improve the tool ease-of-use.

As tool developers, we found this session very useful and rich of insights. We are evaluating the comments and suggestions, and we will select and implement those changes which are aligned with the product strategy.

Once the usability is improved, we plan to organize a second phase of this fruitful ‘cross-the-border’ collaboration, which will be focused more on the “creative” use of a tool like Videovivo.With the collaboration of Claudia and the great staff of the Howest College, we plan to involve students having a background as storytellers, to take part in the next pilot session. This could indicatively take place in February 2015.

Many thanks to the Howest University College from Kortrijk Staff and especially to Claudia Eeckhout for their help and collaboration.

Erica De Bortoli - Interplay Software